Work History

Alastair-Robb-West-Cheshire-Tile-Doctor

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of Tile, Grout and Stone Cleaning and renovation work carried out within West Cheshire.

Minton Hollins Victorian Floor Renovation Chester

Historically Important Victorian Hallway Floor Restored in Handbridge Chester

I was first asked to restore the large Victorian tiled hallway floor at this mansion type property in Handbridge, Cheshire two years ago. The floors had a lot of history and had been used as a template for the famous Minton Hollins encaustic tiled floor at St George’s Hall in Liverpool that was built in 1854. Unfortunately, however my work was put on hold as other restoration works including repairing dry rot took priority.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Renovation Handbridge Cheshire

I kept in touch with the owners whilst the other works progressed and kept a look out for 22 beige Octagon shaped tiles that were needed to replace some of the damaged tiles in the floor. In fact, it wasn’t until later in 2023 that I was called back to start the renovation work to the floor, by which time I had managed to source all the replacement tiles needed.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Renovation Handbridge Cheshire Victorian Tiled Floor Before Renovation Handbridge Cheshire

Handbridge is a district of Chester with a mixture of large Victorian mansion type properties on the South bank of the river Dee and workers cottages built to service the water powered factories that sprung up along the river.

Repairing and Cleaning a Victorian Hallway Tiles

Before starting the cleaning process my first task was to replace all the broken tiles. This needs to be done carefully so as not to dislodge any adjacent tiles and make more work for myself. Once removed the base is cleared of old cement and then the replacement tiles fitted using rapid set adhesive and cut to size where required.

Once the repairs were complete and the adhesive set, I began the cleaning process which is designed to remove and remaining protective sealer and flush out ingrained dirt from the pores of the tile. This is done by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with a mop and then leaving it to soak into the tile for ten minutes. The floor was then scrubbed using a buffing machine fitted with a black pad and lubricated with water. The cleaning alkaline cleaning solution soon turns black with the dirt and then floor is then rinsed with water and the residue extracted with a wet vacuum.

Attention then turned to the decorative historical piece of flooring at the entrance to the hallway. This only needed to be cleaned with Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is used for regular cleaning and maintenance of tiled floors. this was applied with a two-minute dwell time before cleaning by hand using soft scrubbing brush then wiped down with damp microfiber cloths then left to dry.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day damp meter readings were taken from both floors to make sure they had dried and were ready to be sealed. The readings were within tolerance so work could begin on applying the first of what would be three coats of sealer.

Tile Doctor Colour Grow was chosen to seal the tiles, it’s an impregnating colour intensifier sealer which is fully breathable so it will allow for moisture to rise through tile, an important consideration for old floors that don’t have a damp proof membrane.

The sealer was applied using a paint pad and any excess is wiped off after five minutes with microfiber cloths before leaving it to dry for twenty minutes. I use air blowers around the floor to increase the drying speed.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Renovation Handbridge Cheshire Victorian Tiled Floor After Renovation Handbridge Cheshire

The owner of the property was over the moon with the work and pleased that the work to restore the property to its former condition was nearing completion after what had been four years of restoration.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Renovation Handbridge Cheshire

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in West Cheshire

Historically Important Victorian Hallway Floor Restored in Handbridge Chester Read More »

Ceramic Shower Cubicle Tile Grout Renovation Lower Whitley

Deep Cleaning Shower Ceramic Cubicle Tile and Grout in Lower Whitley

We were recently contacted about cleaning a Ceramic Tiled shower cubicle by a landlord in Lower Whitley which is set in the rural countryside of Cheshire. The area was once part of Lord Daresbury Estate, the Greenall Whitley brewery and only a short drive from my base in Warrington.

The client had been renting out their cottage and following the end of a long lease they discovered the shower cubicle had never been cleaned properly and was now full of mould. The grout lines in particular had attracted a lot of staining and in some places were orange with the dye that occurs in soap and shampoo. It would be difficult to attract a new tenant with the bathroom in this condition, and so I was asked to clean the shower tiles and the grout and make it presentable again.

Ceramic Shower Cubicle Tile Grout Before Cleaning Lower Whitley

Deep Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

I started by spraying the grout lines with Tile Doctor Duo Clean which is a double action grout and mould remover and was designed for situations like this. After leaving it to dwell for ten to twenty minutes the grout lines were scrubbed with hot water and a stiff brush then rinsed off with more water.

There was still some staining left so I coated the wall tiles and grout with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and again left it to soak in, being a gel, it stays put for longer so it can get to work breaking down the dirt.

As this was soaking in, I removed all the old silicone around the cubicle, between the tiles and shower glass and shower tray. Once this was done, I gave the stubborn areas a further scrub and rinsed the soiling off with more water. When working on these type of jobs, rinsing is much easier in the shower. In other situations, where immediate drainage is not an option, we use a wet vacuum to extract the soil away.

I forced dried the tiles and grout and then set about replacing the silicone sealant I had stripped out earlier.

Sealing a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle

The last step was to seal the grout by spraying on Tile Doctor Aerosol Tile and Grout Sealer which is very quick to do and ensures water simply runs straight off the tile and grout and doesn’t collect on the surface. The tiles themselves are ceramic so are sealed in production so there is no need to apply any products to them however the grout has a rough surface which can attract dirt and mould so it’s always best to protect it.

Ceramic Shower Cubicle Tile Grout After Cleaning Lower Whitley

The work took about 4 hours and once done the shower was transformed and looked amazing. I was confident they would not have a problem attracting a new tenant now.

My client was delighted with the work we had done and were rather relieved that more work and tile replacement was not needed.

I also suggested that they should invest in some Tile Doctor Aqua Pro Cleaner and recommend it to the incoming tenant, this is a pH neutral product which is designed with everyday use in mind. It will remove the scum build up and any hard water deposits, ensuring the shower does not get back into poor condition.

 

Professional Restoration of a Ceramic Tiled Shower Cubicle in Cheshire

Deep Cleaning Shower Ceramic Cubicle Tile and Grout in Lower Whitley Read More »

Victorian Hallway Renovation Chester City Centre

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Cleaned, Repaired and Sealed in Chester

We first renovated this Victorian hallway floor in Chester City Centre four years ago but at the time I was unable to locate all the picture tiles needed to tile a door threshold which was damaged. As a result, it was decided to just clean and seal the floor leaving the damaged tiles in place the customer said he would give us a call once the replacement tiles had been located.

Four years later and the floor needed cleaning and sealing again however this time the necessary replacement tiles had been sourced on eBay and so we were called back to do that and repair the threshold. Hallways being the main throughfare through the house do experience a lot of traffic so it’s not unusual for a sealer to wear off after a few years and need replacing.

Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Chester City Centre

Repairing and Cleaning a Victorian Hallway Tiles

The first job was to cut out the damaged tiles and replace with the replacements. This involves carefully chiselling out the old tiles so as not to disturb those adjacent. It’s not unusual for work like this to dislodge more tiles than you had intended so slow and gentle is the best approach. Once the old tiles have been removed the base is cleaned up and old adhesive scraped away.

Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Chester City Centre

The next step was to clean the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a alkaline cleaner and stripper that will clean and remove any remaining sealer from the tiles. The solution was left to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed in using a weighted buffing machine fitted with a Black pad. The released dirt was then removed with a wet vacuum.

The next step was to treat the tiles to an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which was applied and removed using the same method as before. This process neutralises the pH level of the floor following the use of the alkaline cleaner earlier and ensures a better bond with the sealer.

The floor was then given another rinse with water and as it was drying, we laid in the section of replacement tiles. The replacement tiles were not an exact fit so some of the edges had to be rubbed down with 50-grit Diamond burnishing blocks to make the intricate pattern work. Once the Victorian tiled jigsaw puzzle matched the space, they were secured into place using rapid set adhesive.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry off overnight and returned the next day to apply a new sealer. Before doing so however I like to use a damp meter to take moisture readings from the floor. This is needed to ensure it is dry enough to seal which is important as any moisture in the tile can affect the sealer and lead to an inconsistent finish.

Victorian Hallway After Renovation Chester City Centre

The readings were fine so several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra were applied, allowing each coat to dry for thirty minutes before applying the next. This product is an acrylic breathable sealer which adds a pleasing subtle shine to the tile. This is an important feature when choosing a sealer for old floors where moisture needs to be allowed to rise through the tile, otherwise it can become trapped under the floor and reach out to the walls causing rising damp.

Victorian Hallway After Renovation Chester City Centre

The hallway looked much cleaner and brighter once done and the door threshold now closely matched the one on the other side of the hallway completing the floor. Before leaving I took time to discuss aftercare cleaning for which I recommend Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner which is designed for the daily cleaning for sealed tiles; this is important as most domestic supermarket cleaners are simply too strong and can prematurely erode the sealer.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in West Cheshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Cleaned, Repaired and Sealed in Chester Read More »

Ceramic Wood Plank Effect Shower Tile Cleaning Kirby Wirral

Limescale Removed from Ceramic Wood Effect Tiles in West Kirby Wet Room

We received an enquiry from a new homeowner in West Kirby keen to discover if anything could be done to renovate a wet room that had been tiled completely in Ceramic wood effect tiles. It had not been used since the previous owners moved out four months earlier and was stained with limescale and the usual build-up of grime and dyes you find from the regular use of soaps and shampoos etc.

I went over to survey the wet room tiles and see for myself the extent of the staining. I’ve never come across a wet room tiled exclusively in wood effect tiles before, it was certainly different and the limescale certainly detracted from its look.

Ceramic Wood Plank Effect Shower Tile Before Cleaning Kirby Wirral

I worked out a solution to resolve the problems agreed a price to do the work and a date was scheduled for the work to take place.

Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Wet Room

Limescale can be removed using an acidic product such as Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up or Acid Gel, however you must be careful as some natural stone tiles such as Limestone can be etched with the use of acidic cleaning products. Fortunately, these tiles were Ceramic and so this wouldn’t be a problem. For this job I decided to go with Tile Doctor Acid Gel as being in a gel form it is much easier to control and it would stick better to the vertical surfaces.

On arrival I split the shower into sections focusing on the wall tiles first. The method was straight forward, apply the Tile Doctor Acid Gel, allow it to soak in for twenty minutes and then manually scrub into the tile and grout with a stiff brush. Rinse off and then re-treat any stubborn areas that needed further work. With the wall tiles done I moved onto the floor using the same process as the walls but using a wet vacuum to remove the residue on the floor.

Once complete and dried the wet room looked transformed, I got the impression I was in an old wooden ship and began to appreciate why the previous owner had gone for the effect.

My client was very happy with the difference and much relieved I had been able to vanquish all the limescale.

Ceramic Wood Plank Effect Shower Tile After Cleaning Kirby Wirral

I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Aqua Pro for regular day to day cleaning; this has a neutral formula and will eliminate any build-up of shampoos and soaps as well as any hard water deposits which build up over time. It has a nice fresh lemon smell and comes with a trigger spray for easy application. Due to the tiles being ceramic there is no need to apply a seal as the surface is sealed at the factory.

 

Professional Restoration of a Ceramic Tiled Wet Room in West Cheshire

Limescale Removed from Ceramic Wood Effect Tiles in West Kirby Wet Room Read More »

Scratched Corian Worktop Renovation Cuddington Cheshire

Removing Scratches from Corian Worktops in Cuddington

We recently received an enquiry from the Cheshire village of Cuddington regarding a Corian worktop which was cracked and scratched in many places. Although well known for our floor restoration work the equipment, we use works equally well on stone worktops so we were happy to be of assistance.

Scratched Corian Worktop Before Renovation Cuddington Cheshire

Granite is probably the ultimate surface for a Kitchen worktop and although extremely durable it is expensive. Corian is manmade and has a lower cost but is more easily damaged by heat and scratching than natural stone. It is however a very solid material and we find it can be maintained in a similar way to natural stone.

Scratched Corian Worktop Before Renovation Cuddington Cheshire

Having discussed the size of the worktop and costs to repolish the surface a date was worked out for a visit.

Polishing Scratches out of a Corian Worktop

To renovate the Corian Countertop the first step was to run over the surface with a hand held polishing machine fitted with a 800-grit resin disc. Water is used to keep the worktop wet so as to absorb the fine dust that is generated. The pad needs to be applied to the point where the scratches are removed and then to avoid creating shallow areas its necessary to run the pad over the entire surface taking it down to the same level.

The worktop is rinsed with water to remove the fine slurry that is generated and then the process repeated with a 1200-grit disc followed by another rinse. At this point all the scratches and cracks in the Corian should have disappeared but the polished appearance will had dulled as a result.

Scratched Corian Worktop During Renovation Cuddington Cheshire

To put back the shine on the countertop it needs to be polished and for this we like to use Tile Doctor Diamond Burnishing pads which are available in a 6 inch diameter and a perfect size for use with the hand held buffer. It’s a similar process using water for lubrication and starting with an 800-grit pad and finishing with a 1500-grit pad.

Sealing a Corian Kitchen Worktop

Once the worktop was dry two coats of sealer were applied to protect it. On this occasion I used Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is undetectable natural look product that is recommend for use in food preparation and serving areas.

Scratched Corian Worktop After Renovation Cuddington Cheshire

To finish I buffed the worktop with a 6-inch white pad, the transformation was fantastic and my costumer was over the moon. For aftercare I recommend the use of Tile Doctor Stone Patina Spray which is a mild cleaner that will maintain the patina of the stone.

Scratched Corian Worktop After Renovation Cuddington Cheshire

 

Professional Corian Worktop Polishing in West Cheshire

Removing Scratches from Corian Worktops in Cuddington Read More »

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned Sealed Whightgate Northwich

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Whitegate

We received an enquiry from a previous customer who lives in Whitegate near Northwich asking for a clean and seal of her small terracotta kitchen floor. It seems we did such a great job five years ago she was keen to ask us back to do it again.

Terracotta looks great in a Kitchen but you do need to maintain the sealer otherwise it will eventually wear down with use and let dirt become trapped in its pores, at which it becomes very difficult to keep clean as your standard mop and bucket won’t flush the dirt out of the pores.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Whightgate Northwich

Its also worth mentioning at this point that the life of a sealer can be greatly reduced with the use of strong cleaning products, most tile cleaning products you find in a supermarket are only designed for use on Ceramic or Vinyl flooring and are simply too strong for use on a sealed tile (always read the label!).

Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

After protecting the Kitchen units and skirting boards with plastic sheeting my first job was to strip any remaining sealer off the Terracotta tiles using Tile Doctor Remove and Go in 1 part solution to 4 parts water dilution. The solution was spread across the floor and then left to dwell for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black scrubbing pad attached to a rotary floor buffer running at a slow speed.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Whightgate Northwich

Removing all the old sealer is an important step as the floor will have experienced different levels of wear across the area and to apply more sealer on top will mean some areas become darker due to the build-up. For the best finish its always best to strip off the old sealer first and get down to the bare tile.

With the sealer removed the next step was to improve the appearance of the grout using more Remove and Go and worked in by hand with a scrubbing brush and a wire brush. Once done the slurry was extracted with a wet vacuum and the process repeated where necessary to make sure the Terracotta and grout was as clean as it could be. After a final rinse and dry with the wet vacuum the floor was left to dry off fully overnight.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Whightgate Northwich

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next morning and tested the tiles with a damp meter to ensure the tiles were dry before applying the sealer. All was well, so I started with the application of the first coat Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer that works well on clay tiles and adds a lovely sheen finish to the floor. Due to the porous nature of Terracotta, it actually took eight coats of Seal and Go before it was completely sealed, each coat was applied using a paint pad.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Sealing Whightgate Northwich

The clean and new sealer really lifted the appearance of the kitchen much to the delight of my customer who was once again over the moon with the result. For aftercare cleaning I recommended Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a mild but effective cleaning product designed for use on sealed tiles.

 

Professional Cleaning of a Terracotta Tiled Floor in Cheshire

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Whitegate Read More »

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Before After Polishing Delamere

Polishing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor in Delamere

This Travertine Polishing enquiry came from a homeowner in the village of Delamere which is in the middle of the Cheshire countryside, West of Winsford. The customer had recently moved to the area and was unhappy with the dull appearance of their Travertine tiled kitchen floor, there were also small holes in the tiles which needed filling.

Travertine is a natural stone and holes or pitting can appear as thin layers of surface stone break down to reveal a cavity underneath. This is a common problem and can be made worse by the use of strong acidic cleaning products that eat away at the surface over time.

The solution was to fill the holes using a matching epoxy filler, deep clean the grout and then burnish the tiles to remove the dirt and bring up the polish. Happy with my quote we agreed a date for the work to commence.

Travertine Floor Tiles Before Polishing Delamere

Grout Cleaning and Filling Pitts in a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first job was to fill the holes/pitts in the Travertine using a purpose made product called Tenax which comes in a variety of colours and is described as an adhesive filler that sets hard.

Travertine Floor Tiles During Filling Delamere

Step two was to get the grout clean so I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an alkaline tile and grout cleaner. I left this to soak in and breakdown the dirt for roughly ten minutes before scrubbing it in by hand. Once done the floor was rinsed with water and the soil now released from the stone extracted using a wet vacuum.

Polishing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

To bring back the polished appearance of the Travertine I applied a set of four diamond burnishing pads of different grades in sequence from coarse to extra fine. The first two pads take off any remaining sealer and dirt, the floor is then washed down and the residue removed by wet vacuum. We then go onto the third pad which is a 1500 grit which starts to put a shine back on the stone. The floor is then washed down again with clean water and the slurry removed with the wet vacuum.

The floor is then forced dried by large fans and once dry the last pad is applied which is a 3000-grit pad that puts a high shine on the floor. A small amount of water is sprayed onto the tiles during this process which we refer to as a spray burnish.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Spray burnishing also leaves the floor dry and ready to be sealed. The owner wanted the Travertine to look as natural as possible so two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal were applied. This is an impregnating sealer which is recommended for use on polished stone and for use in kitchens. To finish and to remove excess sealer the floor was then buffed with a White pad.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles After Polishing Delamere

I mentioned at the beginning of this post not to use strong cleaning products on Travertine and this advice is especially relevant if the stone is sealed as strong products including bleach can also erode the sealer. For the regular cleaning of sealed Travertine, I would recommend using Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is a gentle but effective cleaner that also helps maintain the patina.

 

Professional Renovation of a Dull Travertine Kitchen Floor in Cheshire

Polishing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor in Delamere Read More »

Travertine Kitchen Floor Renovated in Thurstaston Wirral

Polishing Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles in Thurstaston

Although the Travertine tiles in this beautiful kitchen floor in Thurstaston were in fair condition the Grout had turned black with dirt. This normally happens when the stone is sealed but the grout has been left unprotected, then when cleaning the floor dirt is washed off the stone into the grout line where it gets trapped in the rough surface of the grout. Overtime the dirt builds up and the grout lines turning it black and completely changing the appearance of the floor.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Renovation Thurstaston Wirral

After visiting the property, I could see the polished appearance of the Travertine had faded and the sealer was wearing thin, so I recommend not only cleaning the grout but also burnishing the stone to deep clean it and restore its polished appearance.

Burnishing and Cleaning a Travertine Kitchen Floor

To get the best from a stone floor, we apply a set of Diamond encrusted burnishing pads of different grades starting with a coarse 400 grit pad run over the tiles using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Once the pad had been run over each tile at least three times attention was turned to the grout lines which was scrubbed with more Pro-Clean and a stiff brush. Afterwards the floor is rinsed down with water and then the dirty residue is extracted with a wet vacuum.

The 400-grit pad was followed by the application of a medium 800-grit pad using only water this time to add lubrication. Again the floor is rinsed with water after use and the soiling extracted with the wet vacuum. The next two pads are a Fine 1500 grit and Extra Fine 3,000 grit which really build up a high-quality polish on the stone. Before applying the 3000-grit I spent some time filling in the larger pits (holes) in the Travertine with an epoxy filler. Travertine is notorious for having this problem and being an acid sensitive stone it very important not to use even a mildly acidic cleaning product as this can make the problem worse.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I returned the next day to seal the Travertine first checking with a damp meter that the stone was dry. The customer wanted a natural look finish to the Travertine, so to seal the tiles I applied two coasts of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer doesn’t change the look of the stone in anyway. Ultra-Seal is an impregnating sealer that works under the surface by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Renovation Thurstaston Wirral

Once the sealer had dried the floor was treated to a gentle buff with a white pad to bring up the shine even further. Once complete the stone looked a lot healthier and the grout looked so much cleaner.

 

Professional Travertine Floor Polishing in Cheshire

Polishing Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles in Thurstaston Read More »

Limestone Tiled Restaurant Floor Renovated Chester

Cleaning a Limestone Floor in a Chester Restaurant Ready for Reopening

We were asked to clean and seal a large Limestone floor at a restaurant on the outskirts of Chester. The large hostelry and Steak House was reopening after being closed since lock down and the floor had not been cleaned since.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Chester Restaurant Cheshire

I arranged a visit to survey the floor and could see that although the Limestone tiles were still stained with beer, wine, and other detritus they were in good condition for a busy commercial floor. On the back of that visit, I was able to provide a detailed quote and at the request of the manager agreed to do the work three days before it was due to open.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Chester Restaurant Cheshire

Although this did not leave much time in the way of contingency it made a lot of sense for the manager as the floor would be pristine for the grand opening. I had calculated that the work should take two days and that left them a day for final preparations, including setting out the furniture and last-minute staff training.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Restaurant Floor

To get the limestone floor clean I sprayed the area with a mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (a multi-purpose degreaser tile cleaner) and Tile Doctor Remove and Go (a multi-purpose stripper and coatings remover). The cleaning cocktail was left to soak into the stone for a good twenty minutes to allow it time to break down ingrained dirt and marks in the old polish from around the fixed furniture and skirting boards that had been applied by the cleaners over the years.

To help the process of taking the stains out of the limestone the cleaning mixture was worked into the tile using a coarse 400-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad. The pads are fitted to a rotary buffer machine applying weights were required to maintain a better contact with the stone. The cleaning solution turns into a dark slurry as the dirt is released from the floor and once the pad has been over each tile at least three times as vet vacuum is used to extract it.

This process was then followed up with the application of a finer 800-grit pad but applied only with water which helps lubricate the process. Again, the slurry was removed with a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with water which is vacuumed off once more. This process is then repeated with a 1500-grit burnishing pad which starts putting the polish back on the floor. These large 17-inch pads can struggle around the edges of the floor so small six-inch burnishing pads fitted to a hand polisher are used. Once the whole floor had been treated in this manner it was rinsed down once more and dried with the wet vacuum before being left to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Restaurant Floor

The next day the last burnishing pad in the series was run over the floor, this is a very fine 3000-grit pad which completes the polishing process and leaves the Limestone with a healthy shine. This final pad is applied dry with only a few squirts of water applied to the surface, a process we call spray burnishing.

Lastly to protect the floor it was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a premium natural look penetrating and durable sealer. The sealer prevents dirt from becoming trapped in the pores of the stone and allow it to be easily cleaned off the surface. Once the last coat of sealer was dry the floor was dry the floor was buffed with a White buffing pad to improve the sheen and remove any excess sealer.

Limestone Floor After Renovation Chester Restaurant Cheshire Limestone Floor After Renovation Chester Restaurant Cheshire

I am pleased to say we didn’t encounter any complications during cleaning, so the timings worked out beautifully and the owner was able to open on schedule.

For future maintenance I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap cleaner which is a pH neutral that will gently cleans the tile whilst improving patina. Many commercial tile cleaning products are simply too strong for sealed floors and can degrade the sealer prematurely.

Limestone Floor After Renovation Chester Restaurant Cheshire

 

Professional Cleaning of a Limestone Floor in a Cheshire Restaurant

Cleaning a Limestone Floor in a Chester Restaurant Ready for Reopening Read More »

Victorian Hallway Floor Cleaned Sealed Tarvin Cheshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Tarvin

I was recently contacted by a client who had just moved into a large Victorian property in the West Cheshire village of Tarvin about renovating their Victorian tiled hallway. Apparently, the floor was in good condition, and it would just be a case of removing what was left of the old sealer, deep cleaning the tiles and then applying a fresh seal. Unless the floor has been regularly maintained with the same sealer it’s important to remove all traces of old sealers before applying fresh.

Victorian Hallway Before Cleaning Tarvin Cheshire

A lot of the work we do at Tile Doctor can be a lot more involved, often requiring the sourcing of matching replacement tiles and rebuilding large sections of tiled flooring so straight forward clean and seal job is always welcome.

Stripping and Cleaning a Victorian Hallway Tiles

To remove what was left of the sealer and the ingrained dirt from the pores of the Victorian tile I dressed the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. On this occasion I used a 1:3 dilution with water and applied it to the floor with a mop. I left it to soak into the tile for fifteen minutes before scrubbing so it could get to work breaking down the old sealer.

During this time, I set up a weighted floor buffer and fitted a black buffing pad, these pads are designed for scrubbing hard floors and lifting out the dirt. I applied a little water as required during this process to ensure the pad was lubricated. Shortly the cleaning solution darkened as the old sealer and dirt was released from the tile.

The soil was rinsed away with water and then removed using a wet vacuum. Once clear the floor was inspected and the process repeated until I was satisfied it was as clean as it could be and free of sealer.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Before Sealing Tarvin Cheshire

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry off overnight and returned the next day to apply a new sealer. Before doing so however I like to use a damp meter to take moisture readings from the floor. This is needed to ensure it is dry enough to seal which is important as any moisture in the tile can affect the sealer and lead to an inconsistent finish.

To seal I started with the application of a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying breathable impregnator that soaks into the tile improving appearance and adding protection from within. Any excess sealant was removed by wiping the floor with a microfibre cloth and then it was left to dry for an hour.

This was followed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is an acrylic breathable sealer which adds a pleasing subtle shine to the tile. This is an important feature when choosing a sealer for old floors where moisture needs to be allowed to rise through the tile, otherwise it can become trapped under the floor and reach out to the walls causing rising damp.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sealing Tarvin Cheshire

The customer was very happy with the revamped hallway which made the house a lot brighter and welcoming. Before closing I should mention that for aftercare cleaning I recommend Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner which is designed for the daily cleaning for sealed tiles, this is important as most domestic supermarket cleaners are simply too strong and can prematurely erode the sealer.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in West Cheshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Tarvin Read More »

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